Book Review: The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

The Clock Strikes Midnight I am so happy that this book finally made it to the top of my reading list.  I love mysteries--and the latest book from Joan C. Curtis, The Clock Strikes Midnight, was right up my alley! What was my review of The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis? 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  All opinions are my own.  Don't forget to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card in the book tour giveaway at the end of this review!

Quick summary of The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis.  The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness. If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page. Hiding behind the fa├žade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone. Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

The Clock Strikes Midnight is not the typical mystery/thriller.  Most of the mysteries on my book shelves involve multiple murders and psychological plot twists.  The Clock Strikes Midnight keeps readers intrigued with the unfolding of a life story as the characters face the traumas of their past.  The main character is caught in a race with time--as she faces her own mortality--to reveal the secrets haunting her past.  There is a lot of mystery lurking in Joan C. Curtis' pages--but, the why's and where's are rooted in long-held secrets rather than present day action/adventure. 

Curtis offers well developed characters in the perfect setting for the book.  Early on, I wasn't a fan of any of the characters.  As Curtis developed the storyline and unlocked some of the mysterious past, she brought the characters to life.  I quickly became attached to both the book's Southern setting and the characters' flaws and imperfections--and needed to follow them to resolution.

Would I recommend The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis?  I loved this book.  It isn't an action packed thriller--but, a nicely paced drama, focusing on helping a family make peace with the mysteries of the past and regain the future.   If you enjoy a life-focused mystery--loaded with secrets and emotion--then this book should be on your summer reading list!
Buy the Book:
iTunes | Kobo | B&N | Amazon | Smashwords | MuseItUp Publishing

About the author:

The Clock Strikes Midnight - JoanCurtis_Pic1Award-winning author Joan C. Curtis will release her first mystery, The Clock Strikes Midnight on November 25, 2014. She has also authored four business books published by Praeger Press and numerous stories. Her first place writing awards include: Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association. Other Books: Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012. The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA. Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.

Joan has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. She reads all kinds of books, including women’s fiction, mysteries, biography, memoir and nonfiction. Joan says, The Clock Strikes Midnight is exactly the kind of book she loves to read. “I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.” Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.
Check out her website and her blog 

Also find her on Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter

Follow the Tour and Blast

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post a Comment


  1. Hi Angela, I'm glad you liked this book. I agree it's not your typical mystery. Because the world of publishing is so "genre" specific, I had to place it somewhere! As you pointed out, there is plenty of "mystery" going on even though it's atypical. I tend to like reading atypical mysteries. Ruth Rendell was one of my favorite mystery writers. Maybe that's why The Clock evolved the way it did.

    I do appreciate this very thought-out and well written review!



The ZOO banner 3